If you’re travelling on a budget, you need a full stomach to fuel all your site seeing without breaking the bank. Edinburgh has some expensive restaurants, so you may not want to stop just anywhere on the Royal Mile. There are plenty of affordable places, however, where you can get a filling meal for just a few pounds. No matter what kind of food you like, with a bit of searching and know-how, you can eat well without destroying your budget.

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Classic Pub Food Edinburgh

Pubs are classic for Scotland, and a pub meal can be one of the best ways to warm up if it’s a typically rainy day outside. Luckily, Edinburgh has more than a few pubs serving up filling food for low prices. If you don’t have a lot of time to search and end up in a pub that’s not on our list, there are a few menu items that you can usually get for cheap.

If you’re on a budget, most pubs serve a ploughman’s lunch, designed to be filling and cheap. With some variations, a ploughman’s lunch consists of bread, cheese, cold meat, and a pickle. It’s usually paired with a hearty beer. A meat pie or pasty is another cheap but filling option, and you may be able to order it on the go.

Thomson's Bar

Thomson’s Bar – 182-184 Morrison Street. Thomson’s keeps things simple with a small lunch menu centered on sandwiches and meat pies. You can enjoy a filling steak pie for just about £5.


Piemaker – 38 South Bridge. If you love savory pies and pasties, Piemaker has you covered. Almost all of their pies and pasties are between £1.50 and £3.00, with sausage rolls for just 70p, so you could even get a couple of things for under £5.

The Dogs

The Dogs – 110 Hanover Street. The Dogs offers British classics, included some more upscale-sounding options for very affordable prices. You can get a Cullen skink (a Scottish favorite) for £5.25 or duck confit for £4.20. There are also tasty salad options and some less common meat dishes, such as ox liver and ox shin.

International Cuisine

When you need good but cheap food, Edinburgh offers up a wide assortment of Indian, Thai, and Middle Eastern cuisine to meet your needs. If you’re looking for cheap but tasty options, it’s hard to go wrong with a noodle or curry dish.

The Mosque Kitchen

The Mosque Kitchen – 31 Nicholson Square. The Mosque Kitchen is a favorite with local students, which is a sure sign that it’s affordable and tasty. With a simple, cafeteria-style set-up, the Mosque Kitchen offers simple and filling Indian food. Their menu doesn’t stray above £6.50, and most items are £5 or under.

Red Box

Red Box – 51 West Nicholson Street. Red Box is a simple and quick noodle bar offering large, customized boxes of noodles. Choose from a variety of noodle, meat, vegetable, and sauce options, and you’ll walk away with a full wallet and even fuller stomach.

Bollywood Coffee Box

Bollywood Coffee Box – corner of Bruntsfield Place and Bruntsfield Terrace. If you’re looking for local cheap Indian, Bollywood Coffee is a great option. This tiny restaurant, set in a former police box, has lots of character. You’ll find delicious curry and tasty snacks such as samosas and pakoras, most for under £5.